July 24 - July 31/August 1 2018

The Victory Day Tour

7 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Experience one of North Korea’s most important national holidays that will see mass dances and other
festivities! This tour will also travel to Kaesong, the DMZ, Nampo, and Mt. Myohyang. Round-trip
by train or upgrade to flight

From 1,349 EUR per person

Please apply by 10th July, 2018.

View package Tour Full

The Victory Day Tour

7 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Experience one of North Korea’s most important national holidays
that will see mass dances and other festivities! This tour will also
travel to Kaesong, the DMZ, Nampo, and Mt. Myohyang. Round-trip by
train or upgrade to flight

From 1,349 EUR per person

  • Overall

    July 27th 1953 was the day the Korean War armistice was signed. This occasion is celebrated in North Korea as ‘Victory Day’ and is a major annual holiday. This year will mark the 65th anniversary and we will make sure that you’re in Pyongyang on the day to join in the celebrations with the locals picnicking in Moran Park, and attending whatever dances or events are planned on this day.

    As well as a city tour of Pyongyang, this tour will get you down to the DMZ, where North and South Korea continue their decades-old face-off as well as to Nampo on the West Coast and up to the mountainous area of Myohyang for some light hiking and a visit to the International Friendship Exhibition.

    Please read the following for important information about your transport options for this tour, and how each one relates to the visa requirements for China. The default option is round-trip train travel from Beijing to Pyongyang, and back again. Flight upgrades are available. See below for more details.

    Transport Options

    Option 1 // Round-trip train (Beijing-Pyongyang-Beijing): A 24-hour train journey each way in hard-sleeper class (six bunks per berth) with a transfer in Dandong, China. The train arrives in Pyongyang approximately three hours after the flight so train arrivals will miss one or two activities in the city. This option is for those travelling on a budget with time to spare (and train enthusiasts, of course). [+0 EUR]

    Option 2 // Flight departure (Beijing-Pyongyang // 90 minutes) + train return (Pyongyang-Beijing // 24 hours): In our view, this is the most comprehensive way to visit the DPRK. We highly recommend this option: it maximizes your time and sightseeing opportunities; lets you experience both Air Koryo and the international train; plus allows you to start the trip rested, while taking the leisurely route home. [+199 EUR]

    Option 3 // Train departure (Beijing-Pyongyang // 24 hours) + flight return (Pyongyang-Beijing // 90 minutes): An alternative to Option 2. This option is ideal for those wishing to take the train one-way of the journey, but need to transit through Beijing by flight on their return. Please note the train arrives in Pyongyang approximately three hours after the flight so train arrivals will miss one or two activities in the city. [+199 EUR]

    Option 4 // Round-trip flight (Beijing-Pyongyang-Beijing):Choosing the round-trip flight option gets you between Beijing and Pyongyang in 1.5 hours (each way), and lets you experience the infamous Air Koryo ‘burger’ twice! For many nationalities, this also allows for the possibility of transiting in Beijing, rather than having to get a Chinese visa (please see below). This option is for those with little time to spare, travellers wanting simply to transit through China, or aviation enthusiasts. [+299 EUR]

    Visa Information

    We arrange your North Korean visa as part of your tour package [+50 EUR]. However, given the tour starts and finishes in China you may also need to consider entry and exit procedures in China for your trip. This can be obtained at a Chinese embassy abroad. We recommend obtaining at least a double-entry Chinese visa for your trip.

    Over 50 nationalities can obtain a visa-waiver for up to 144 hours when in transit through Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) using direct international flights. Most other nationalities can transit for up to 24 hours. If you don't want to visit China as part of your trip, this could be the easiest option for you. It is not possible to obtain a transit-waiver when using a train for entry or exit from China.

    Please be sure to check your visa status for travel through China while planning your trip. We are unable to arrange Chinese visas, but can provide documentation in support of visa applications upon payment of a tour deposit.

    See below for an overview of all tour options and extras.

    Highlights

    • Victory Day celebrations on July 27th
    • Kumsusan Memorial Palace (Mausoleum of leaders), captured spy ship USS Pueblo and other Pyongyang highlights
    • A 1970s tram ride through the city (a Koryo Tours special!)
    • Panmunjom/DMZ – the border with South Korea
    • Mt Myohyang and the International Friendship Exhibition
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. July 23 // Monday

      Briefing Day

      *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • 10:00 // Briefing for those departing by train.

      PM

      • 16:00 // Briefing for those departing by flight.  
      • 17:00 // Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

      Overnight // Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near out office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

    2. July 24 // Tuesday

      Arrival Day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS 152 at 12:05. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
      • Arch of Triumph // Massive archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule.  Made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982.
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop // Buy Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, andSpanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
      • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. The central point of the country from which road distances are measured and mass demonstrations/parades held.
      • Walk on Future Scientists' Street // An evening stroll through one of Pyongyang's newest neighborhoods.

      Overnight // Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

    3. July 25 // Wednesday

      Kaesong and the DMZ

      AM

      • Drive 160 km south the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarised Zone. A 2.5 hour drive.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ // The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum // Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall // Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) // A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

      PM

      • Tomb of King Kongmin // Tomb of the 31st king of the Koryo Dynasty, a talented statesman and prolific painter, and his Mongolian wife set at the end of a picturesque valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. A 2.5 hour drive.
      • Kaeson Funfair // We’ll take on the rides of Pyongyang’s newest funfair with the locals: pirate ship, vominator, rollercoaster, bumper cars, arcades, and more. Tickets purchased on the spot (1 EUR entry, 2-7 EUR for rides).


      Overnight // Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

    4. July 26 // Thursday

      Pyongyang

      AM

      • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun // Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. Please note formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible.

       

      PM

      • Tower of the Juche Idea // Iconic tower on the Taedong River dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy. Take the elevator to the top for 5 EUR for great views of the city.
      • Monument to the Party Foundation // Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush  which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
      • Mangyongdae Native House // Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a park-like setting.
      • Schoolchildren’s Palace // Tour one of Pyongyang’s centres of extracurricular excellence with study rooms for fine arts, dance, sports, and music, then watch a spectacular performance put on by the students.
      • Kwangbok Department Store // Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.


      Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

    5. July 27 // Friday

      The 65th anniversary of Victory Day

      AM

      • Mansudae Grand Monument  // Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dresscode (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders).
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo // We’ll tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guides. Renovated in 2012 and its exhibits of Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artifacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the spyship USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.

      PM

      • Tram Ride // A ride through Pyongyang on one of the city’s trams from Kwangbok Street (a Koryo Tours special!)
      • Moranbong Park // We’ll take a stroll in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments- modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.
      • Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person) // A one hour circus show including clowns, trapeze artists, jugglers, and much more. The shows here are especially popular with locals on national holidays.
      • Mass Dance // As it's a national holiday, we expect to see large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!
      • Mansugyo Beer Bar // A new bar serving seven type of beer. Popular with locals after work and on weekends. Best lace to drink pints with local people .
      • Drive west along the ‘Youth Hero Highway’ to Nampo (45 minutes to 1 hour drive), the port city of Pyongyang at the mouth of the Taedong River on the West Sea.


      Overnight // Ryonggang Hot Spa Hotel, Nampo. Compund with holiday houses and a main building for dinner and entertainment. Spa bath in every room with mineral water from the Sindok Spring- the most famous mineral spa in the DPRK. Billiards, karaoke, and ping pong. Bring a torch!
    6. July 28 // Saturday

      Nampo

      AM
      • West Sea Barrage //  An 8 km concrete, steel, and earthen barrage constructed between the Taedong River estuary and the West Sea for land reclamation, irrigation, flood prevention, and power generation. It also acts as a ship locks and fish ladder. One of the DPRK’s greatest engineering feats.
      • Chongsan-Ri Cooperative Farm // Famous cooperative farm on the road between Pyongyang and Nampo. Learn about life in rural Korea by visiting the farm's green houses and their kindergarden.
      • Kangso Mineral Water Factory // Bottling plant of the DPRK's most famous spring water. Tour the production line and have a sip yourself.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang on the Youth Hero Highway
      PM
      • Grand People’s Study House // National library and public university in traditional Korean style with great views of Kim Il Sung Square. Learn about education in the DPRK.

      • Mansudae Art Studio // The DPRK’s centre of artistic excellence, where the majority of sculptures, mosaics, and paintings around the country are made. Visit workshops to see artists at work and an exhibition where pieces are sold.
      • Pyongyang Metro Tour // One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. We’ll ride six stations on the Chollima Line.

      • Drive 45 minute north to Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang, centre of science and technological research, and the provincial seat of South Pyong’an province.

        Overnight //  Jangsusan Hotel, Pyongsong. The only hotel in Pyongsong open for tourists and one of the most fun in the whole country! Basic facilities with fairly reliable electricity and hot water. Excellent bar with one of the best bartenders in the country. Billiards, karaoke, haircut, and outdoor eateries in summer.

      • July 29 // Sunday

        Pyongsong and Mt Myohyang

        AM
        • Paeksong Revolutionary Site  // Location of Kim Il Sung University during the Korean war. Tour the old classrooms and hear about how students lived during the war.
        • 2 hour drive north passing rivers valleys and hills to Mt. Myohyang, the mountain of mysterious fragrance.
        PM
        • Pohyon Buddhist Temple // A peaceful temple dating back to 1042 with stone pagoda and repository of a print blocks and historic text of the Tripitaka Koreana, Buddhist scriptures first produced to invoke divine assistance from foreign invasion during the Koryo Dynasty.
        • Manpok Valley Walk  // A gentle stroll passing waterfalls, interesting rocks, lovely wooded areas and viewing points.

        Overnight //  Chongchon Hotel, Mt. Myohyang. Basic but clean hotel at Mt. Myohyang. Book and souvenir shop, billiards, ping-pong, and karaoke.

      • July 30 // Monday


        AM
        • International Friendship Exhibition // A subterranean exhibition hall displaying gifts of all kinds given to the DPRK leaders by foreign states, leaders, and organizations. The exhibition is a fascinating look into material culture in the second half of the 20th century. Highlights include a plane given by the Soviet Union, basketball signed by Michael Jordan from the US State Department, and vodka given by Dennis Rodman. The visit takes most of the morning. Presentable dress required.
        • 2-3 hours drive back to Pyongyang
        PM

        • Golden Lane Bowling Centre //  Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix. Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung LeisureCentre for an airgun shooting range and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
        • Future Street // A walk through a newly built residential apartments for scientists and academics with its unique architecture.
        • Pizza Restaurant // Dinner at one of Pyongyang’s Italian eateries (there are three). Pizzas range between 5-12 EUR each.

        Overnight // Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang.
      • July 31 // Tuesday

        Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

        AM

        • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 151 at 08:50 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:50.

        OR

        • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:10 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Wednesday August 1 at 08:30. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

        End of Tour

    7. Extras

      • Entry and Exit Method

        This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

      • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

        If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

        See more
      • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

        Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

        See more
      • Upgrade to your own room

        All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

        See more
      • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

        Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

        See more
      • Hotel booking in Beijing

        Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

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    8. What is / is not included?

      • Included
        Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
        Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
        All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train back to Beijing
        Hotel accommodation
        Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
        For groups of 10 or more, a Koryo Tours tour leader
        All transportation in North Korea
      • Not included
        North Korean visa fee 50 EUR
        Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; round-trip: 299EUR)
        Optional single room supplement (40 EUR per night)
        Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
        Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
        Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
        Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
        Spending money for souvenirs
        Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
    9. Notes

      Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides. Furthermore, for groups of 10 or more, a member of the Koryo Tours team will accompany the trip.

      Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ slightly to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

    Please apply by 10th July, 2018.

    info@koryogroup.com | + 86 10 6416 7544
    27 Bei Sanlitun Nan (East Courtyard).
    Chaoyang District. Beijing 100027. P.R China

    中国北京市朝阳区北三里屯南 27 号 (东侧院),
    邮编:100027
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